If you are in a dynasty league it’s time to start looking for diamonds in the rough that could be primed to break out next year. I like to look at teams that are out of playoff contention and are now playing some of their younger players, looking to see what they have in them. This is especially true on the defensive side of the ball.
Another good source of value are players that are free agents that may be changing schemes if they move to a different team. For example, you might be looking at playing Brandon Graham with the Eagles. He is being used is an outside linebacker and has been underutilized. He is in the last year of his rookie contract and could look to move to a team that runs a 4-3 and wants a young player with upside to give him a shot. This could be a cheap way to acquire an impact player moving forward.
Rather than give you start and sits for the next two weeks I will be looking at these types of players while making recommendations on players you might be able to acquire on the cheap in dynasty formats.
Week 14 results from the Sunday pod:
|Matt Ryan||310 yds; 2 TD; 1 Int||Neutral||Win||Offense|
|Devin Hester||5-85 yds; 1 TD||Desperation Play||Win||Offense|
|Roddy White||7-58 yds; 1 TD||Neutral||Win||Offense|
|DeSean Jackson||3-15 yds; 1-9 yds||Sit||Win||Offense|
|Jordan Reed||3-13 yds; 0 TD||Start||Loss||Offense|
|Brandon Oliver||12-26yds; 4-44 yds||Sit||OK||Offense|
|Donald Brown||5-18yds; 4-38 yds||Sit||Win||Offense|
|Keenan Allen||3-18 yds||PPR Play||Loss||Offense|
|DeAndre Hopkins||5-77 yds||Neutral||Win||Offense|
|Justin Forsett||16-48 yds; 1- (-1)||Start||Loss||Offense|
|Steve Smith||5-37 yds||Start||Loss||Offense|
|LeGarrette Blount||8-17yds; 2-7yds; 1 TD||Start||Win||Offense|
|Kamar Aiken||1 target||Sit||Win||Offense|
|Chandler Jones||4/3/1.5||High Risk/High Reward -Sit||Loss||IDP|
|Martavis Bryant||3-31yds; 0 TD||Long Shot||Loss||Offense|
|Donte Moncrief||0-0||Long Shot||Loss||Offense|
|Marquess Wilson||3-16yds; 1 TD||Long Shot||Win||Offense|
|Steven Jackson>NYG RB’s||11-46; 1-11||Jackson||Win||Offense|
|Jonathan Stewart||22-73 yds; 1-6 yds||Start||Win||Offense|
Week 15 Summary: 12-7-1 (63%)
Season Summary (since week 8): 71-36-3 (66%)
*IDP Stats are listed as: Solos/Assists/Sacks; PD = Pass Defensed; FR = Fumble Recover; INT = Interception
Week 15 Results from this column:
|Damontre Moore||4/1/0.5||Start &Dynasty Stash||Win||IDP|
Week 15: 6-4 (60%)
Season Summary: 72-31 (70%)
I had a successful season of predictions overall, hitting at a nice 68% between the article and the podcast. I was brought down a bit with my offensive predictions as I was only 61% (podcast only) while my overall IDP recommendations hit at 70% (111-47).
I am open for suggestions. If there is anything you want clarified or think my thresholds are wrong please let me know. Any input is appreciated. On to this week’s information:
Week 16 injuries of note:
- Muhammad Wilkerson (NYJ DL): Wilkerson missed the last couple of weeks with a turf toe injury. These can linger and a full offseason of rest should help considerably. If you can acquire him cheaply from an owner worried this could be an issue in the future do so. He should be fine next year.
- Gerald McCoy (TB DL): He is one of the premier defensive tackles in the NFL, but his season comes to an end with a hyperextended knee. The Bucs had nothing to play for and did the smart thing by shutting him down. He doesn’t need surgery which is obviously a good thing. His stock for next year should be just fine.
- Jadeveon Clowney (HOU LB): I touched on Clowney a couple weeks ago as he has undergone microfracture surgery on his knee. This is a long and difficult path back to playing and because of this his dynasty value has taken a big hit. If you have him I would look to move him for any value you can get. On the flip side, I wouldn’t be looking to acquire him. I wouldn’t expect much out of him in 2015.
- Kiko Alonzo (BUF LB): Alonzo is probably off the radar for many owners since he has missed the entire year with a torn ACL. He should be back to 100% for training camp and should be roaming the middle of the field for a good Bills defense. If he is on your waiver wire pick him up and stash him for next year. You’ll be happy you did.
- Sean Lee (DAL LB): Lee is another linebacker who missed the entire season with an ACL. He is an absolute stud when healthy. However, he is never healthy. He should be back to full strength for training camp but will always be an injury risk. If you have the space he is a good speculative add but you better have a backup plan for when he gets hurt.
- Anthony Barr (MIN LB): Barr was the favorite for defensive rookie of the year before he got hurt. For now, he should be a player to monitor. Indications are that it should not affect his long term performance, so if a worried owner in your league will ship him, it might be worth inquiring about. He is a stud and will be for many years to come.
- Jerod Mayo (NE LB): Mayo missed most of the 2014 season with another injury. The injury bug is catching up to him and I would probably stay away in most dynasty formats at this point. See how the offseason goes and try to acquire him for a discount if all goes well but be prepared for the inevitability of the next injury.
- Sio Moore (OAK LB): Moore was a semi-breakout performer with a few huge weeks. He has been placed on IR with a hip injury but it doesn’t appear to be too serious. Monitor him in the offseason to see how workouts are going. I would try making a lowball offer to his owner.
- Eric Berry (KC DB): In general I don’t worry about rostering defensive backs in keeper leagues. The turnover in the top-15 is very high and you can usually always find one on the waiver wire. You never know who will be performing at a high level from year to year and sometimes it’s better to find the hot rookie because they get picked on and get a lot of tackle opportunities. I mention Berry here in hoping that he is able to beat this thing and get back to living a healthy life.
Watch list adds for 2015:
- Damontre Moore (NYG DL): I mentioned him here last week and the window to buy low may have already passed. Moore has 5.5 sacks on the year including 2.5 over the last two weeks. I think he has arrived. If you can acquire him I would do so as he is poised to have a big 2015.
- Olivier Vernon (MIA DL): Vernon is probably on most radars as he had a nice 2013 but has disappointed this season. With Cameron Wake slowing down a bit and getting older it might be a good time to try and buy low on the younger Vernon.
- Geno Atkins (CIN DL): Atkins got off to a slow start in 2014 after knee surgery. If his owner has soured on him since he only has 20 tackles and 3 sacks on the year it might be time to investigate his price tag. He will be 100% next year and should be back to wreaking havoc in the middle of the line. In tackle-required leagues I would make a big push to acquire him below market value.
- Demarcus Lawrence (DAL DL): Lawrence was injured most of the year so he hasn’t really had a chance to perform. As you may know, Dallas is 28th in the league for sacks so they are in desperate need of players who can storm the pocket. Look for Lawrence to get a shot in 2015. He is playing now so if you get a chance take a look at him over their last couple of games. A nice buy low stash.
- Dee Ford (KC LB): With Justin Houston set to be a free agent after this year, Ford was drafted to take his place. He has shown glimpses in his minimal playing time. This is a speculative add situation and his value will be tied to whether or not Justin Houston re-signs or is franchise tagged in the offseason.
- Telvin Smith (JAC LB): With the injuries to the Jaguar linebackers he got a shot at every down work. He is very athletic but undersized and some think he will wear down due to that. It appears that may be true as he started off with 10 tackles in his first game playing every down and has steadily gone down from there. His totals have been 10, 8, 4 and 1 over the last four games. However, I still think he has play-making ability as he has two sacks and an interception on the year. I think he is worth rolling the dice on.
- Christian Kirksey (CLE LB): Kirksey has had a disappointing year. He could never crack an every down role even with Dansby getting injured. He has had a solid year with 44/31/2 so all hope is not lost. If an owner is frustrated because they expected more it would be a good time for lowball offer.
- Jelani Jenkins (MIA LB): Jenkins got his chance early and ran with it. He has been outstanding this year as an every down linebacker and should only get better. I mention him here because he missed the last game and if his owner is fighting for this year he might be willing to part with him to win now. See if you can pry him loose. He will be great next year.
- Khalil Mack (OAK LB): Mack hasn’t met expectations as he only has 3 sacks on the year. However, he has played much better than that. He will be outstanding in big play scoring leagues in the future. Get him now before he explodes.
- I wouldn’t worry about defensive backs and wasting a roster spot in the offseason. They change ever year and you can always find them on the waiver wire. Concentrate on the other positions and you’ll be happy. If you insist on trying to roster one I would target Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He looks to be the real deal and has only gotten better as the season has progressed.
If you have any suggestions for some off-season articles or about specific players you want me to write about drop me a line on Twitter or in the comment section below.
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Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!